Sheriff requests traffic study to determine safety of Corning Y - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Sheriff requests traffic study to determine safety of Corning Y

Sheriff Terry Miller says they have seen several fatal crashes at the Y. (Source: KAIT) Sheriff Terry Miller says they have seen several fatal crashes at the Y. (Source: KAIT)
The safety of this intersection has been a topic of discussion for years, according to residents. (Source: KAIT) The safety of this intersection has been a topic of discussion for years, according to residents. (Source: KAIT)
ARDOT will conduct a traffic study of the area over the next several months. (Source: KAIT) ARDOT will conduct a traffic study of the area over the next several months. (Source: KAIT)
CLAY COUNTY, AR (KAIT) -

Another deadly wreck at the Corning Y in Clay County has spurred a traffic study by the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

"The Y" is the intersection of Highway 135 and Highway 62 where drivers can either turn toward Corning or Piggott.

It’s been a topic of discussion for Clay County residents for years.

“Too many times I’ve watched the flight helicopters have to land out here,” said Rory Small, who has lived near the Corning Y his whole life.

He can recall crash after crash.

“There was a girl one time, her and two other guys, they got thrown out and while one good citizen was helping move them aside, a vehicle ran over another one,” Small said. “There was a van that the brakes went out and it went and was pretty much the same situation.”

He told Region 8 News that people who live in the area want to see something done.

“One life lost is too many,” Small said. “It's time something changes the situation.”

“Within the last year, this makes the second fatality accident that we’ve had in this one area right here where they had three fatalities altogether in the two accidents,” Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller said.

The sheriff said keeping people safe is a big part of his job.

He has requested that the Arkansas Department of Transportation conduct a traffic study at the Y to see if any changes can be made.

“What that will mean, we'll do an accident review of the history of it, the configuration, the alignment, the signage, all of the things that involve a person driving through a location like that will be reviewed,” ARDOT District 10 Engineer Brad Smithee said.

That study will take place over the next few months as they look at the road itself and study the data on crashes that have happened there to see if it’s a higher-than-normal rate.

“Then you look at what options do you have and if those options can be implemented,” Smithee said. “Sometimes those are a complete reconstruction of something and then obviously funding becomes a major issue,” Smithee said.

The options range from updating and enhancing signage as drivers approach the Y, to possibly adding lights or rebuilding the intersection completely.

Sheriff Miller said he would like to see a major change, if possible.

“Hopefully, if it’s within the study and can be done, maybe they can turn this into a T to where you would have to come to a complete stop and you’ll be more mindful of the area around you,” Miller said.

According to Small, it’s not a question of if a change needs to be made, only what change would be best.

“This is an important issue and there needs to be something,” he said. “There needs to either be red flashing lights or some type of bumps or maybe further warnings.”

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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